Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Unseen #36: Scream Blacula Scream

Why’d I Buy It?: One of the twofers that MGM has released in their, “The Goddamn plane has crashed into the mountain!” fire sale was this twofer of Blackula. For those of you doing the math that’s two Blacula films for ten dollars, and that equals… Well fuck, do I even have to tell you? Is this your first time on the blog? (Disclaimer: If this is your first time on the blog welcome.)

Why Haven’t I Watched It?: I don’t know once you’ve seen one Blacula haven’t you seen them all? (Disclaimer: Statement not actually racist. Black Vampires are a varied and diverse people ranging from Jefferson Twilight, To The Daywalker, to Armond White. The Statement only refered to the question of the possibility of variety within a film devoted to this particular Blacula.)

How Was It?: Better then expected.

Scream Blacula Scream follows a rift in a Voodoo cult. The leader dies, passing over her douchey son, and naming as her successor Pam Grier, because well she’s Pam Grier and thus self evidently the best person to do the job. The spurned son decides to get revenge by resurrecting Prince Mamuwalde, which is kind of like trying to get revenge on an ex by giving yourself Herpes in the hopes that she’ll sleep with you.

Prince Mamuwalde gets down to doing what Prince Mamu-awfuckit, Blacula, does. Namely, be charming as hell, speak in a strangely hypnotic accent and eat people. William Marshall is never anything less then fun to watch. And he’s joined by Pam Grier, whose, well whose fucking Pam Grier. I mean yes she’s amazing. Water also wet, sky is blue.

Scream Blacula Scream is a bit more kitsch dependant then its predecessor. Not that Blacula was free of kitsch. It is after all, a movie called Blacula. Its weighed down by a lot of scenes involving the internal politics of Voodoo, and its intersection with the “straight” world. As well as a baffling subplot involving the Vamped son of the former leader trying to forment an uprising in Blacula’s coven. Which leads to little more then Blacula coming in at inopportune moments and pimp slapping him. These scenes could be called tongue in cheek, but that would imply consistency of tone and clarity of vision.

Still while Blacula certainly had scenes like the one that follows, Scream Blacula Scream is dependant upon them.

Now granted if a film entitled Scream Blacula Scream didn’t include scenes like that, you’d be disappointed. I’m not saying it shouldn’t feature. I’m just saying Blacula was better able to modulate its tone. Still the film does slip in a few genuinely creepy scenes. Particularly an ill advised raid by the LAPD on Blacula’s vamp infested pad.

Scream Blacula Scream is about as much fun as you’d expect a film called Scream Blacula Scream to be. Its blessed with two charismatic leads and a good sense of humor about its own ridiculous that doesn’t keep it from occasionally playing things straight.

It may not be a great film, but if you’re looking for an exploitation programmer, you could do a whole hell of a lot worse.


Scare Sarah said...

This looks like a lot of fun! Nice review.

Paul said...

I liked The King of Cartoons in this.

Neil Fulwood said...

This is one of those films I've been meaning to check out for a while but have hung back from because I always had this underlying suspicion it could never live up to its title and concept.

Methinks the time has come to add it to the rental list.

Andreas said...

I was always afraid this would be one of those rip-off sequels with barely any relation to the original. But hey, even if it is schlockier, if we've still got Marshall AND some Pam Grier action? Sounds like it's in the exact same vein (no pun intended) as Blacula, and I should seek it out.

Thanks for the great review!

Bryce Wilson said...

@ SS: It surely is.

@ Paul: So do I.

@ Neil: I don't think you'll regret it. I don't know why Marshall is so much fun to watch. But he is.

@ Andreas: Many thanks Andreas. I think you realy would enjoy it.

If you like Blacula you'll like this. It might be a little less so. But only just.